Railway Battery (1861)

In the early days of the American Civil War, in the wake of the April 29, 1861 Baltimore Riot, several key railroad bridges in Maryland were burned to prevent Union troops from traveling via rail from the North to Washington.
“Preparations were made to repair the burnt bridges between Havre de Grace and Baltimore … a singular railway battery was constructed in Philadelphia, to be used for the protection of the men engaged in the work, wrote historian Benjamin Lossing in 1866. “It was a car made of heavy boiler iron, musket proof with a 24-pound cannon mounted at one end, on a gun carriage. This was to fire grape, canister and chain shot, while a garrison of sixty men inside would have the opportunity to employ musketry, through holes pierced in the sides and ends for the purpose.” -Pictorial History of the Civil War, 1866.

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